WARNING - CONFRONTING IMAGES: Giant meat trays containing models dressed as freshly slaughtered humans have confronted shoppers on a major Sydney street.
The hour-long action by activist group PETA was orchestrated to “remind the public that all animals, including humans, are made of flesh”.
“Humans need to realise that while other animals look different to us, they are the same in all the ways that truly matter, and it’s time to make the connection and go vegan,” PETA’s Emily Rice said.
Set up near the entrance to a busy Pitt Street Mall department store on Thursday morning, the protest included controversial vegan activist Tash Peterson.
Images supplied by PETA show one male and two female models in skin tone underwear lying in meat trays on the pavement.
The life-like constructions appeared hyperrealistic, with details including barcodes included on the packaging.
Some shoppers were left stunned by the stunt, with one passerby exclaiming: "Oh my God. Jesus".
Despite it's shock value, PETA spokesperson Laura Weyman-Jones told Yahoo News Australia that reaction to the protest was largely supportive.
“There were a wide variety of reactions but overall they were very positive,” she said.
“It was exactly the response we were looking for. People were really challenging their belief systems, and there were a few commitments to go vegan.”
PETA's history of confronting vegan activism
PETA is well known for its controversial and at times confronting use of imagery, designed to convince people to go vegan.
In April, its activists staged a mock barbecue of a baby on a busy Surfers Paradise street.
The stunt featured a 'chef' using tongs and a fork to cook a badly burned human doll and vegetables on a grill.
Barbecues are a common feature of PETA stunts, with another protest in 2019 on Pitt Street Mall featuring a fake dog being cooked.
This action was followed by a stunt featuring a beaten sheep being paraded down the popular shopping strip to protest the wool industry.
In the US, the charity has tackled the fur and leather industries, protesting against brands including Prada and Hermes.
A 2021 online action featured leather goods that appeared to be made from the skins of humans.
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